Former Rossendale football ground a 'blight'

First published in News

THE dilapidated former Rossendale United FC ground has been branded a ‘blight on the area’ by council leaders.

Council leader Alyson Barnes and regeneration chief, Coun Andy MacNae, said talks were being held with owner Rossendale United Holdings Limited with regards to future planning applications.

However, as Sport England will object to any plans to use the Rawtenstall site for anything other than leisure activities, they have said finding a solution to the eyesore is ‘tricky’.

Former club owner Andrew Connolly still owns the land, which was last used by the Stags in the 2010/11 season.

The club’s main stand was destroyed in a fire in January 2012, before the idea of using the land for 50 houses was mooted in February, and thrown out later in the year.

Coun MacNae said: “From our view, we want to get what is a pretty unpleasant site sorted.

“And the owner is keen to get some housing on the site, but he holds his own views on what the value of the site should be.

“We’ve been working with him to try and get it sorted. It’s a very important site and people have a lot of good memories on it.”

However Ron Ashworth, chairman of Rossendale United’s Supporters’ Association, said the site should be used for sport.

He said: “It’s been an established football stadium since the 1890s. There is nothing wrong with the field and the drainage and the flood lights are still there.

“It could be brought back into use quite quickly.

“It is in the owner’s interest to allow the ground to deteriorate if he wants to put housing on it, because people want to see the area cleared up.

“Sport England and Rossendale United Football Association will object to any planning application for houses that are submitted.”

Coun Barnes said: “I think people are fed up with having such a blight in the area, and it’s been like that for some time.

“However, if anything is put forward for the site, Sport England would have to be satisfied for it to be passed, so it is very tricky.”

Mr Connolly was unavailable to comment.

Comments (4)

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8:21pm Sun 9 Feb 14

gazzandste says...

Probably why the ground was trashed. Andrew Connolly wanting to make more money than the former club was making him. That's why the houses are a must for him, parasite he is.
Probably why the ground was trashed. Andrew Connolly wanting to make more money than the former club was making him. That's why the houses are a must for him, parasite he is. gazzandste
  • Score: 6

2:16am Mon 10 Feb 14

clitheroe blue boy says...

gazzandste wrote:
Probably why the ground was trashed. Andrew Connolly wanting to make more money than the former club was making him. That's why the houses are a must for him, parasite he is.
Mr Connolly bought the ground/club when Rossendale Utd were close to folding and going bust, when nobody else was interested or made a viable offer. (Many many years ago) He put a lot of his own money into the football club without any intention of selling it for a quick profit and didn't make much or any of a profit whilst he owned it. The likes of Mr Ron Ashworth and 'The Rossendale Utd supporters association' made no attempt to stop Mr Connolly putting his money into the club (in fact they supported it!) or to buy it/save it themselves, so it's no good crying wolf now.
[quote][p][bold]gazzandste[/bold] wrote: Probably why the ground was trashed. Andrew Connolly wanting to make more money than the former club was making him. That's why the houses are a must for him, parasite he is.[/p][/quote]Mr Connolly bought the ground/club when Rossendale Utd were close to folding and going bust, when nobody else was interested or made a viable offer. (Many many years ago) He put a lot of his own money into the football club without any intention of selling it for a quick profit and didn't make much or any of a profit whilst he owned it. The likes of Mr Ron Ashworth and 'The Rossendale Utd supporters association' made no attempt to stop Mr Connolly putting his money into the club (in fact they supported it!) or to buy it/save it themselves, so it's no good crying wolf now. clitheroe blue boy
  • Score: -2

11:38am Mon 10 Feb 14

Stone Island: says...

Turf Moor is dilapidated, and can also be described as a 'blight on the area'. Will anything be done with that?
Turf Moor is dilapidated, and can also be described as a 'blight on the area'. Will anything be done with that? Stone Island:
  • Score: 1

10:49pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Gob says...

Those housing plans were drawn up very quickly after the fire,
Those housing plans were drawn up very quickly after the fire, Gob
  • Score: 2

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